is a series with one of the most extensive cast of characters ever seen in anime. Due to how long the series lasted, a new character was introduced almost every two or three episodes.
Kishimoto did his best to give each of them the same level of attention. However, it was humanly impossible to make each character as relevant to the series as the protagonist.
While it is obvious that filler and background characters would never get the same screen time as the main cast, many important cast members also suffered from a lack of attention. In this list, we will rank 10 important characters who were given a minimum amount of screen time, from the one who appeared the most, to the one we rarely ever see.
After the mission to save Gaara from the Akatsuki, Kakashi became unable of leading Team 7 as captain for a while. As such, Tsunade assigned the team a provisional leader, . He was created by Orochimaru using Hashirama cells to give him Wood Release abilities. These powers made him a great counter to the Kyuubi’s influence, as they could calm the beast down.
While he was one of the most pivotal characters at the beginning of Shippuden. Yamato quickly began appearing less and less. Once Kakashi was available as Team 7’s captain, the provisional leader was left behind, significantly cutting his time on screen.
During the Chunin Exams arc of , was one of the most important characters of all. Not only was he one of the rookies who entered the examination, but he was also Naruto’s opponent during the preliminary tournament. He would later become a part of the Sasuke retrieval team when the Uchiha deflected from Konoha.
As soon as the second half of the series was released, Kiba’s screen time began diminishing rapidly. The boy was mainly seen in filler arcs and rarely ever participated in any relevant event. There were many moments in the series where Kiba would not appear for months, without any explanation.
Besides being the first person to ever show kindness to Naruto, was also a teacher at Konoha’s Ninja Academy. He was a pivotal character in the first episode of the series, saving Naruto and giving him his headband. Sadly, as he was still a teacher, Iruka was quickly forgotten by the show.
Team 7 was rarely ever near the Academy after they graduated, which means that Iruka’s screen time became lesser. He would make an appearance every so often to talk with Naruto, but he never regained the importance he had in episode 1.
The Yamanaka clan heiress was once considered one of the most talented Kunoichi in Konoha. During her academy years, was considered Sakura’s rival, meaning that she was the second-best in her class. As such, once she graduated, fans expected her to be a relevant character to the plot.
Unfortunately, after her graduation, Ino began fading into the background, as she was not featured in almost any of the significant arcs of the series. The blonde girl was mostly there to bicker with Sakura and Naruto or rant about her love for Sasuke.
Konoha is a village that many unique and interesting characters call home. During ’s Chunin Exams, fans got the chance to meet one of these eccentric individuals, . Orochimaru’s former student immediately grabbed fans’ attention, due to her confident personality and sadistic behavior.
While Anko was indeed seen various times during the exams, the Tokubetsu Jonin was featured less in the series as time went by. By the end of the show, many fans did not even remember the dango-loving woman, due to her long absence.
One of the most forgotten characters in the franchise has to be . From the moment he was introduced, the enigmatic young man tended to be overlooked by the audiences. He hardly ever talked and often stood behind his teammates, making it even harder for people to spot him.
The show even acknowledged this trend by turning it into a recurring joke. Whenever Shino was on screen, he would be ignored by one or more characters. He would go on to partake in the Fourth Shinobi War, but even then his contributions were minimal.
Naruto's self-proclaimed rival was also the grandson of the Third Hokage. was introduced early in the franchise, making an appearance in a handful of episodes. Lamentably, as the boy was still a student, he was not included in most of the important fights.
Konohamaru would make an appearance every once in a while, but it was never too significant. When began, the young Sarutobi began appearing even less, as most of the fights took place outside Konoha. During the Fourth Great Shinobi War, Konohamaru had to stay back in the Leaf Village, so he could not participate in the climax of the series.
One would believe that the student and personal assistant of the fifth Hokage would be given plenty of screen time. Tragically for , the creator of the series decided to make her one of the least recurring characters.
The young woman could mostly be seen inside Tsunade’s office, bringing her paperwork. Even though she was the female Sanin’s apprentice, she hardly used her healing abilities. Many fans do not even remember seeing Shizune in the series, proving how little screen time she was given
If there is one thing the fandom loves to do, it is to make fun of for being one of the most forgotten characters in the franchise. Not only was the girl relegated to be the weakest member of her team, she was also the least relevant.
While Lee, Neji, and Guy fought some of the most dangerous opponents on the show, Tenten was left forgotten. Most fans remember her only due to her defeat at the hands of Temari during the Chunin Exams. Truly, one of the best examples of how little screen time some cast members had on the series.
fans often claim that Tenten is the character with the least amount of screen time in the series. However, this is far from true, as there is one other woman who was almost instantly forgotten, . The black-haired woman was known as one of the best Genjutsu users in the entire Shinobi World. Still, she hardly ever used those skills, which greatly disappointed fans.
Yet, fans were even more saddened by her character once the second half of the show was released. Kurenai became pregnant with Asuma’s child, one of the most wholesome events on the show. Nevertheless, this meant that she would never be seen in battle again, as she now had a daughter to take care of.
Masashi Kishimoto did his best to make sure that every character he created would have time to shine. Even then, many cast members were relegated to the background, not contributing to the plot of the series in any significant way.
When comparing the screen time of this list’s entries and individuals like Naruto, it is almost as if they were not even a part of the show. Unfortunately, as the show is already over, these characters will never have the chance to redeem themselves.